Company name: Verax Biomedical
Industry: Medical devices
Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
Solution/product: ItsPan Genera Detection technology is aimed at detecting bacterial contamination in cells and tissues for blood transfusions and transplantations. Its Platelet PGD Test is the only test approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to detect bacterial contamination in platelets, according to the company’s website. It is so fast that it can be done right before someone is to have a transfusion. It also has a test in development using its technology platform to detect bacteria in red blood cells. It’s the only test cleared by the FDA as a safety measure for leukoreduced apheresis platelets within 24 hours prior to transfusion. Additionally it is working on bacteria detection for cellular therapies such as stem cells and activated leukocytes.
Money raised: $3.3 million of $5 million, according to an amended Form D filing.
Management team: James Lousararian has been CEO of Verax since 2006. Prior to Verax he was a co-founder and director of the AngioLink Corp., a wound management and interventional cardiology startup. He served as a consultant for Medtronic Vascular after Medtronic acquired the business. R. Scott McKensizie serves as the senior vice president of operations. Prior to Verax, he worked for Abbott Diagnostics, most recently as site director for its immunoassay manufacturing facility in Longford, Ireland. Gregory Lawrence, vice president of research and development, previously worked as the head of r&d at Quadraspec Inc., a biotechnology startup based in West Lafayette, Indiana. Nancy Hornbaker, the vice president for clinical affairs since 2002, previously served in similar positions at Bayer Diagnostics and Chiron Diagnostics, later acquired by Bayer.
Market: About 150 hospitals have adopted its platelet test. The company sees bacteria detection in cellular therapies as a major growth area. According to its website, more than 100 companies are developing cell-based therapies with stem cell transplants showing especially strong growth.
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